Most dog bite cases take about the same amount of time. Once the lawsuit is filed, the court’s calendar usually dictates how long it will take. Your case may be ready to present to a jury within 6 months, but if the court has a long line of cases ahead of you, it could take a lot longer; perhaps as much as two years.
What Happens If A Person’s Dog Attacks Someone More than Once?
There are often repeat offenders, as I call them. They tend to show conscious disregard for the safety of others, continue to breed and are careless in the maintenance, training and supervision of their dogs and the dogs continue to bite. In those case, you seek what’s called punitive damages, as well as what are called exemplary damages, which are used to punish the negligent party for their conscious disregard for the safety of others, and to send a message to the community.
What Are the More Challenging Aspects of Dog Bite Cases?
Some of the most challenging issues I see are trying to determine the breed of a particular dog, because there are so many mixed breeds out there, and you have to sometimes hire an expert to study the dog and study its pedigree and determine if it is an inherently dangerous dog. If so, the lawyer still has to prove that the owner should have known the dog was inherently dangerous, and that’s a big obstacle. Another obstacle is helping your client overcome the psychiatric trauma of being attacked by a vicious dog.
Contingency on a Dog Bite Case?
Dog bite cases are taken on a typical contingency arrangement, in which the lawyer will only charge a fee if and when he collects from the responsible party’s insurance company or the responsible party. This is a good thing, because the client doesn’t have to worry about a lawyer up front for fees or expenses. Many people believe that there is nothing that can be done if they’re bitten by a dog, but the truth is homeowner’s insurance coverage covers such negligence.
Dog Bite Case Scenarios
All cases are different; I’ve seen cases involving children to adults, from dogs that are known to them to dogs that escaped from a backyard, and there are cases in which someone was given permission to go into the backyard, but no one warned of the German shepherd that was chained back there.
That was one of the scariest cases I ever saw; a contractor was told the air conditioning unit that required repair was in the backyard and they told him to walk through the side gate but forgot to tell him about the German shepherd chained back there. At first, the dog didn’t bark; he laid there quietly, and the worker didn’t see him until the dog ran towards him, the gentleman turned, but the dog knocked down the 6’2”, 230 pound man and bit him over 20 times in his back and neck area before he could escape.
The result was a horrific injury that required a lot of medical attention and psychiatric help. That case took about a year-and-a-half, not too terribly long.
For more information on Top Misconceptions About Dog Bites, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 713-333–7025 today.